S.W.A.T. Firefight


S.W.A.T. Firefight

Screenplay by Reed  Steiner

Directed by Benny Boom



Gabriel Macht

Robert Patrick

Carly Pope

Giancarlo Esposito

Shannon Kane

Nicholas Gonzalez

Kristanna Loken


Theatrical:  Original Film

Video: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Disc Size: 24.29 GB

Feature Size: 20.68 GB

Avg. video bit rate: 23.87 Mbps

Runtime: 88 minutes

Chapters: 16

Region: A


English DTS-HD MA 5.1

French DTS-HD MA 5.1


English, Spanish & French


• Sharp Shooting: On the Set (8:43)

• Previews in HD


Amaray Blu-ray case: BRD x 1

Release Date: March 1, 2011

The Movie: 4

Cliches run amuck in this straight-to-video movie which, in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily spell doom or gloom, but in this case, neither does it deliver any surprises.  S.W.A.T. Firefight is essentially a cat and mouse game between ace SWAT commander Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht) and girlfriend-stalker and trained assassin Walter Hatch (Robert Patrick).  Cutler is newly assigned from the LAPD to Detroit to certify their SWAT team to federal standards.  On their first mission, they run into Hatch who appears to have his girlfriend (Kristanna Loken) held up in a semi-high rise office building.  Things go seriously wrong and Hatch blames Cutler for her death during the arrest (alas, she was the one compelling character in the film) and once he’s out on bail, is determined to make Cutler pay.  Of course Hatch has Cutler’s new SWAT team to contend with, but they don’t seem to have nearly the killer instinct sufficient to deal with this guy.


The movie offers the usual instant girlfriend who we can’t but imagine will somehow get in the line of fire. (Don’t fret, I’m not giving anything away here.)  Meantime, one Detroit SWAT officer has the temerity to suggest fragging Cutler after being dressed down by him in front of his teammates - a comment that is as unbelievable as it is unnecessary to forward the plot.  In any case said officer is soon replaced by - guess who - a woman (Shannon Kane).  She’s hot and she’s one dynamite sniper.  The instant girlfriend, by the way is a police psychologist (Carly Pope) who doesn’t know jack about diagnosis, calling Hatch “BiPolar”.  What an idiot.  Of course, it’s not her fault.  That error lies wholly at the feet of screenwriter Reed Steiner who could have spent $50 for a better guess provided by any beginning student of the field.


Image: 9/9

Nothing amiss here.  Clean lines. No edge enhancement or other objectionable transfer issues in evidence.  Color is often filtered in a light green hue that strikes me as proper for the subject.  Black is deep, often gobbling shadow detail as, I should think, is desirable for this movie.

Audio & Music: 5/6

The audio, though in what seems to be standard issue these days, DTS-HD MA, is clear enough, but undistinguished.  Deep bass throbs over the opening sequence, but without tone, focus or point.  The surrounds are active now and again, always with the music, but not nearly as extensively as you would anticipate for a thriller such as S.W.A.T. presumes to be.  Occasionally the surrounds correspond to the action, but imprecisely, as when gunfire ricochets aimlessly from various directions.  But the grossest error is that the audio fails to distinguish between weapon fire, most egregiously when  the protagonist's small rifle fire is intercut rapidly with a 50mm machine gun.  Neither the power of the larger gun nor the fact that it is fired indoors and the smaller gun outdoors is given their proper due.


Extras: 2

In addition to manually skippable previews that start right after loading, the only bonus feature is a brief segment hosted in part by Darcy Leutzinger, the go-to man for everything SWAT.  Leutzinger, who also plays a SWAT officer in the movie, trains the cast to walk the walk and handle the weapons convincingly.

Recommendation: 5

The big surprise here is the lazy audio mix.  The movie, while cliche-ridden and breaks no new ground, delivers what you expect from the title and posters.  I can’t really see the “R” rating, though.  There no graphic gore or bare skin - just so you know.


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

February 10, 2011

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